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Kale

What is Kale?

Kale is a member of the cruciferous family and is a highly nutrient dense vegetable. It is an excellent source of calcium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin A, Vitamin C and vitamin E. Kale is very often used in green juices and smoothies due to its health benefits.

Benefits & Medical Uses of Kale

medicinalWhen chewing kale, (and other brassicas broccoli and cabbage) they release sulphoraphanes, which boost the body’s ability to remove toxins. Moreover, the indole-3-carbinole in brassicas promotes DNA repair and may stop cancer-cell growth. Research suggests that kale is effective in preventing and fighting bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer.

Vitamin E in kale can preserve elasticity in the skin and prevent stretch marks. It is also known to generally support pregnancy. Kale is also a great source of vitamin K, which is necessary for bone growth and needed to make thrombin, the substance that allows blood to clot.

Tip

To retain the most nutrients, eat raw, steam or stir fry rather than boil and chop the leaves at the very last moment.

Recipes with Kale

White Bean, Greens and Tomato Gratin

medicinal 24 servings. To make bread crumbs, whirl two or three slices of day-old French bread in a food processor or blender to fine crumbs.

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked or canned white beans, rinsed and drained if canned
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt

Topping

  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch round or 10-inch oval gratin or baking dish. Remove tough stems from greens and rinse well. Stack greens and cut into thin strips.
  2. In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add greens and cook until tender, tossing often, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add beans, tomatoes, broth, thyme and salt and mix well. Spoon into prepared gratin dish, spreading evenly.
  3. Topping: In small bowl, mix all ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over top of greens mixture. Bake until hot, about 40 minutes.

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Crispy Kale Chips

medicinal 2Betcha can’t eat just one of these light, crispy snacks. Nutritional yeast gives them a tangy, almost cheesy flavor. If you are concerned about gluten, check to make sure the brand of nutritional yeast you use was grown on beets, not barley.

  • 1 12-oz. bunch curly kale, center
  • stems removed, each leaf torn
  • into 4 pieces (6 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbs. nutritional yeast

1. Place kale in bowl. Rub oil, lemon juice, and salt into leaves with hands. Add nutritional yeast, and toss well.

2. Spread kale onto dehydrator trays without overlapping. Dehydrate 2 to 4 hours, or until dry and crispy. Turn off dehydrator, and cool completely.

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Nutritional Values in Kale

Nutrient Value pr 100g
Energy 49 kcal
Protein 4.3 g
Fat 0.9 g
Carbohydrate 8 g
Calcium 150 mg
Iron 1.5 mg
Magnesium 47 mg
Phosphorus 92 mg
Potassium 491 mg
Sodium 38 mg
Zinc 0.6 mg
Vitamin C 120 mg
Thiamin 0.1 mg
Riboflavin 0.1 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Vitamin B6 1.3 mg
Folate 31 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 500 µg
Vitamin A, IU 9990 IU
Vitamin K 704.8 µg
Saturated fat 0.09 g
Monounsaturated 0.05 g
Polyunsaturated 0.34 g

Resources

Watts, Charlotte (2011) “100 best foods for pregnancy” Parragon.

Manheim, Jason (2011) “The healthy green drink diet”. Skyhorse Publishing

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Vitamin K

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Function

Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot. Some studies suggest that it helps maintain strong bones in the elderly.

Food Sources

The best way to get the daily requirement of vitamin K is by eating food sources. Vitamin K is found in the following foods:

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce
  • Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
  • Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain smaller amounts)

Vitamin K is also made by the bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract.

Side Effects

Vitamin K deficiency is very rare. It occurs when the body can’t properly absorb the vitamin from the intestinal tract. Vitamin K deficiency can also occur after long-term treatment with antibiotics.

People with vitamin K deficiency are usually more likely to have bruising and bleeding.

If you take blood thinning drugs (such as anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs), you may need to limit vitamin K foods. You should know that vitamin K or foods containing vitamin K can affect how these drugs work.

It is important for you to keep vitamin K levels in your blood about the same from day to day. Ask your health care provider how much vitamin K-containing foods you should eat.

Recommendations

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine Recommended Intakes for Individuals – Adequate Intakes (AIs) for vitamin K:

Infants

  • 0 – 6 months: 2.0 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
  • 7 – 12 months: 2.5 mcg/day

Children

  • 1 – 3 years: 30 mcg/day
  • 4 – 8 years: 55 mcg/day
  • 9 – 13 years: 60 mcg/day

Adolescents and Adults

  • Males and females age 14 – 18: 75 mcg/day
  • Males and females age 19 and older: 90 mcg/day

Resources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002407.htm

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